Alright, so maybe deadly was a little click-baity. But, maybe not. Some of these offenses, if not corrected, could put your development into a tailspin. Creating imbalances in your mechanics could compromise your stability. An unstable body can fall into traffic, fall off ledges or break when tripped.
No coroner report ever documented poor treadmill work as the cause of death, but how would the coroner know what silliness you’ve been up to in the gym?
If you insist on running on treadmill thirty minutes a day, there are some things you need to do. First, you gotta let go of that machine. You have to focus, but you have to create better resistance and vary your training.
You may use the handles to slow down, even check your pulse. Unless you are struggling or need the help, do not hang onto any part of the treadmill.
Just like a toxic relationship, you do yourself no favors holding on. By holding onto parts of the equipment you stifle your natural gate, which is already somewhat compromised by the movement of the treadmill underneath you. I’ll get back to that in a minute.
Holding on, you are more likely to neurologically shorten your hamstrings, your abs, and your triceps, three muscles which would not be so active if you just ran.
The danger is they shouldn’t be doing the hard driving when you run. You are creating potential imbalances in your frame. [Read: future pain.]
Treadmill-time is not E-reader time.
The only technology you are allowed is music. Some would argue that you shouldn’t even have that, that you should listen to your breathing. I allow music, because you may go crazy otherwise, but also provided your focus stays on your movement.
Running is not a mind off activity. You should run a system of constant internal analysis.
Ask, is my posture vertical? Imagine an invisible string pulling you upright from the top of your head?
Ask… Are my footfalls even? Am I striking my foot in the desired manner (mid-sole, heel-strike)? Are my arms crossing in front of my body?
Know your weak spots. Become a ninja master of managing them. You own them for life. Focus helps keep your mind on them.
Use a treadmill with an incline option. You don’t have to crank it to the max, or even halfway. Just give yourself a little incline.
The treadmill does much of the work you would otherwise do in the real world, running. Your not so much running, as you are trying to keep up.
Running on an incline simulates the push behind you that would occur on a flat run in the street. You need that push to develop your glutes, to keep your pelvis balanced and strong.
Otherwise, you may notice you are using more hamstring, more abs, even tucking your pelvis in some situations.
This is no bueno for your spine, which can affect your sleep too. Sore backs are terrible for sleep.
Vary the intensity
If you only ever run in one way, at the same intensity, you’re missing out on so much. Varying the intensity, first and foremost, makes the time pass faster.
Intervals are one example, but there are many modes of training where you increase variables. Planned intervals for making changes will keep you focused. (See section 2.)
Variables are what life gives you. Outside of running marathons, which are pretty varied themselves, life is all about hills, sand, wind, and many other factors.
Train your body to run in any condition. You’ll burn more calories, sure, but you’ll also condition your body better.
What would help you see the effect of your work is to spend some time running outside at least once every couple of weeks. If you’ve only ever run on the treadmill, the street will feel very labor-intense.
Try to reduce that laborious nature of running through executing the steps above.
Don’t forget to train your legs. Running won’t be enough. You’ve got to be strong too.